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Climate justice groups demand loss and damage in new climate deal

The issue of loss and damage has taken center stage at the penultimate day of the UN climate talks, with climate justice groups demanding that richer countries commit to support developing and more vulnerable ones for unavoidable climate impacts beyond current climate action.

“African nations and others in the developing world are already dealing with losses and damages resulting from extreme heat, wild weather, sea level rise, and other unavoidable climate impacts beyond their control or capacities,” said Augustine Njamnshi of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.

“If only developed countries have cut their emissions and provide funds and technology for adaptation sooner, as they were obligated to do so, we will not be in such a dire situation right now,” he added. Negotiations on loss and damage continue to go slow, but civil society observers noted how the United States and other Northern countries are resisting its very mention in the new climate agreement.

“We have had the Warsaw mechanism on loss and damage since 2013, which can potentially compensate for the harms vulnerable communities already face and protect climate refugees,” said Gita Parahi of Friends of the Earth.

“We call on the developed country governments to own up to their responsibilities and include loss and damage as a distinct part of the Paris deal, with clear funding streams.” “Keeping global warming within even 1.5-degree Celsius may already cause massive loss and damage, and that is why we need even more mitigation and adaptation efforts, especially from developed countries, before the Paris deal takes effect in 2020,” said Harjeet Singh of ActionAid.

“While we welcome the implicit recognition that the G7 have given to loss and damage, focusing only on insurance falls far short of the kind of approach we need. When we talk about loss and damage we have to talk specifically about who will pay and how,” he added.

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